Autumn Scotland 2010

Autumn in the Cairngorms 9th October 2010

Such a striking difference to see the comparatively ‘rolling hills’ of what once was home compared to the view from my base in Chamonix of 2000m of vertical mountain of the north side of the Aiguille du Midi!

I’ve been working on a training course for potential mountain leaders, based out of Glenmore Lodge in the Cairngorms. The week long course culminated in a 2-days mini expedition where the candidates camp high up in the mountains to be amongst good terrain, day and night, to practise their navigation and leadership skills.

The following morning still looked gloomy at camp…but there was a hint of light in the sky!

The first day of the trip provided us with excellent weather: high winds and nil-visibility clagg!; a great journey around the Northern Corries, on up and round Ben Macdui and down to the camp-site next to Loch Etchachan, all with about 15m visibility! The pea soup continued on into the night for the night navigation exercise, but finally after breakfast, the cloud cleared and the morning sunshine and the surrounding mountains were a welcome sight.

On the shore of Loch Etchachan, with the Loch A’An cliffs in the background, a fine place to have breakfast!

The team really appreciated the overnight camp in the middle of a wild mountain area; we were in a perfect location to enjoy the amazing morning light as we headed straight onto the next peak of Beinn Mheadhoin. Navigation no longer quite as essential today, the map was just useful for naming distant hills.

Heading up the start of Beinn Mheadhoin. Ben Macdui is just out of sight, top left of the picture

Looking to the south, the summit of Lochnagar is just catching the sun

A great day to be out!

The journey continued down to the Saddle and on round to the ski area in Coire Cas, completing our circuit of Loch A’an and its surrounding crags and gullies.

Looking up to the Shelter Stone crag at the head of Loch A’An

Coigach and the NW Highlands 12th October 2010

A short excursion to the hills north of Ullapool, an area known as Coigach. Just to be there, to visit some friends and a quick climb of Stac Pollaidh.

The great expanse of Coigach, Cul Mor on the near right with Suilven behind on the left

Admiring the view, and being part of the picture

Looking back at the lower East summit

Looking out further west to the open sea and complicated coastline of the NW Highlands